The battle for the title of the best EV in the market may have varying contenders, but when it comes to range performance, Lucid Air undoubtedly stands at the forefront. In a groundbreaking teardown, renowned car disassembly expert Sandy Munro delves into the depths of the Lucid Air Grand Touring, exposing the hidden marvels within its battery pack.
The Lucid Air has garnered acclaim for its exceptional range, and its endurance is put to the test by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), renowned for its stringent assessments. Depending on the model, Lucid Air’s EPA-estimated range spans from an impressive 614 km to over 800 km, surpassing most competitors in the market. It is no wonder that the battery technology powering Lucid Air demands the inquisitive scrutiny of reverse engineering maestro Sandy Munro.
Munro’s gaze is set on the top-tier Lucid Air Grand Touring, a luxurious sedan with a staggering price tag of US$138,000. Beyond its remarkable 1,050 horsepower, this flagship model boasts the longest range of any Lucid Air variant, offering an EPA-certified range of 820 km. The secret to this exceptional performance lies within its 22 battery modules.
▲Lucid Air battery pack, with circular parts representing battery cells.
When compared to lower-tier models, the Grand Touring variant features an additional four battery modules, meticulously stacked within the rear floor area. This strategic design choice, while sacrificing some interior and rear footwell space, elevates the total battery pack capacity from 92 kWh to an impressive 112 kWh. All battery modules rest upon an epoxy fiberglass insulation layer, ensuring rust resistance. Further fortifying the structure is a precisely engineered aluminum frame, housing a partition that effectively separates the battery into two distinct zones.
Each battery module can be disassembled into ten components, with every individual component housing 30 cylindrical battery cells. Consequently, a single module is home to 300 battery cells, resulting in a staggering total of 6,600 cells energizing the entire vehicle.
Intriguingly, Munro’s team of experts discovered that dismantling Lucid Air’s battery pack proved exceptionally challenging when compared to rival manufacturers such as Tesla and Rivian. Lucid Air’s battery pack incorporates three high-pressure synthetic casting covers that are meticulously bonded together using structural adhesives, resulting in an immensely robust composition.
The true essence of Lucid Air’s battery pack lies within its cutting-edge Battery Management System (BMS). According to engineers from Munro’s team, Lucid Air’s BMS is ingeniously integrated into a colossal printed circuit board, surpassing Tesla’s BMS in size. In a surprising revelation, Lucid Air features not one but two sets of BMS, akin to having dual brains orchestrating the battery management.
▲The rectangular component at the bottom is Lucid Air’s BMS, while the square component on top is Tesla Model 3’s BMS. (Source: Munro Live)
Another notable component, the busbar, plays a vital role in connecting the various battery modules, ensuring seamless electric current flow throughout the system. In line with the aluminum battery frame, Lucid positions the busbar between the two battery sections, resulting in a remarkably substantial component. Munro’s experts posit that a more compact U-shaped busbar might offer practicality, space efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
Drawing on their extensive experience dissecting numerous EVs, Munro’s team concludes that Lucid’s battery pack presents a significantly greater challenge to disassemble when compared to Tesla and Rivian counterparts. Each manufacturer adopts a unique car manufacturing philosophy, with Lucid Air’s philosophy favoring extreme compactness, density, and structural robustness. In contrast, Tesla’s battery pack proves relatively straightforward to disassemble, facilitating easier maintenance procedures.
Through Munro’s comprehensive battery teardown, Lucid Air’s CEO’s personal insights intertwine with the objective third-party perspective, highlighting the intricate assembly costs and complexities associated with Lucid Air’s battery pack. It is these very factors that underpin the unparalleled performance and remarkable range of the Lucid Air.
(Image Source: Lucid)